“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.”
— T.S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”
Nice thought, isn’t it, that we can enter a new year with a fresh voice, leaving behind us all the mustiness of the things we did last year? Of course, my practical brain is reminding me that nobody changes overnight, and we all live with the consequences of the things we’ve done, good or bad. But even so, we don’t have to respond to things in the same way as we have before, and we can change the trajectory of our lives any time we want to.
As much as I tend to be wary and cynical about things like New Year’s Resolutions, I am a big fan of taking stock of my last year, analyzing it for things I did right, so I can continue to grow those things; and things I did wrong, so I can change my course. Invariably, it leaves me feeling more hopeful, knowing that even though I may have screwed up royally hundreds of times, I am not doomed to continue in a downward spiral. A new year gives us all the chance of a new voice.